CNN, NBC float report Kim Jong Un’s brain dead after recent surgery – social media’s odd response

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North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly in “grave danger” after a recent surgery.

Citing a United States official with direct knowledge of the matter, CNN reported late Monday the US is closely monitoring intelligence on the dictator’s health, and that he missed the April 15 celebration of his grandfather’s birthday, prompting speculations about his well-being.

The birthday of Kim Il Sung, the country’s founding father, is North Korea’s most important holiday, according to CNN.

Kim was last seen on April 11, presiding over a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s politburo.

NBC News correspondent Katy Tur tweeted that two US officials said Kim was brain dead after slipping into a coma.

The reporter would later delete the tweet “out of an abundance of caution,” awaiting more details.

The online South Korean newspaper Daily NK reported that Kim Jong Un underwent a cardiovascular system procedure on Apr. 12. The procedure was necessary because of Kim’s “excessive smoking, obesity, and overwork,” according to the news site.

Only 36 years old, Kim is around 5-foot-7 and reportedly weighs close to 300 lbs.

He is reportedly receiving treatment in a villa in the Mount Kumgang resort county of Hyangsan on the east coast.

Daily NK noted that most of the medical team treating Kim returned to Pyongyang on April 19, believing his condition had improved. A smaller number stayed behind to oversee his recovery.

As CNN noted, information about Kim’s health is hard to obtain in a country where there is no free press.

“There have been a number of recent rumors about Kim’s health (smoking, heart, and brain). If Kim is hospitalized, it would explain why he wasn’t present on the important April 15th celebrations,” said Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former CIA deputy division chief for North Korea. “But, over the years, there have been a number of false health rumors about Kim Jong-un or his father. We’ll have to wait and see.”

In 2014, Kim disappeared from the public eye for more than a month, only to emerge walking with a cane — South Korean intelligence said at the time that Kim had a cyst removed from his ankle.

Suffice it to say, social media users are not exactly beside themselves with grief. But then, given all the horrendous reports out of the hermit nation of how North Koreans have been treated under Kim Jong Un, which includes brutal labor camps where the inhabitants are sometimes fed to vicious guard dogs, it’s not so surprising.

Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter, after news broke that the dictator may be near death:


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